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Tourist buses to park away from the Sagrada Família due to congestion in the area

Barcelona’s City Council announced that tourist buses will not be able to access the adjacent streets of the famous Sagrada Família Basilica. The reason: in the last few months there have been too many buses and they have been congesting the church surroundings, creating problems. The church, designed by well-known Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, will welcome 900.000 more visitors this year compared to 2010, which means 3.2 million people will visit the Sagrada Família in 2011.

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04 November 2011 10:30 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona\u2019s City Council will stop tourist buses from accessing the area located next to the Sagrada Família. Buses will have to park nearby from Easter 2012. Since the Pope declared the Sagrada Família a basilica in November 2010, coinciding with the end of construction work inside the church, the number of visitors has increased significantly, and subsequently the number of buses transporting them. The high number of buses parked in the area has created access problems in the neighbourhood. The City Council\u2019s initiative aims to solve the existing conflicts between buses, tourists, neighbours and vehicles circulating in the area. It will become operational during Easter 2012. The plan foresees allowing buses to park a five minute walk, but not on the adjacent streets, whose pavements will be enlarged to ease pedestrian circulation. The proposal\u2019s main goal, explained district Councilman Gerard Ardanuy, is to create a \u201Cpacification\u201D perimeter where mobility problems no longer exist. The great influx of visitors (this year\u2019s forecast is 3.2 million people) creates a high risk of accidents, such as the accident in September that saw three people severely wounded after being knocked down.


Bus stops will be transferred to a more accessible location five minutes walk away from the basilica. To facilitate tourist mobility, the City Council will design three different itineraries to easily guide visitors from bus stops to the Sagrada Família. The parking area will also be widened, offering 52 bus parking spaces compared to the 44 currently available. All these measures will be implemented in a progressive way and the changes will be announced through traffic signs and reinforced with the help of Barcelona\u2019s Local Police during the beginning of the change.

The rearrangement project includes the remodelling of the surrounding pavements of Marina and other adjoining streets to gain more space for queues in front of the two access points \u2013the Birth and the Glory facades-. Ignasi Armengol, Director of Municipal Services of Barcelona, said that the alteration will help to avoid tourists invading the road and drop the risks involved.

The project\u2019s budget amounts to 700.000 euros and will be mainly spent on the construction of pavements and adapting bus stops. The neighbours of the nearby area expect this plan to help decrease  traffic and access problems as well as to increase \u201Cthe quality of life\u201D of those living around the Sagrada Família.

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  • Tourists in front of the Sagrada Família (by P. Mateu)

  • Tourists in front of the Sagrada Família (by P. Mateu)